Kevin Kolb, Cardinals stun Patriots: NFL roundup
Amendola catches 16 passes in St. Louis win
Backup quarterback Kevin Kolb threw for one touchdown and ran for another, Stephen Gostkowski missed a potential winning field goal in the final seconds, and the Arizona Cardinals upset the New England Patriots 20-18 on Sunday.
The Patriots took over when Vince Wilfork recovered a fumble at the Cardinals 30-yard line with 1:01 left. A 30-yard run into the end zone by Danny Woodhead was nullified by a holding penalty against Rob Gronkowski. New England then moved to the 24 before Tom Brady spiked the ball to stop the clock with six seconds remaining.
But Gostkowski, who had made his other four field goal attempts, sent a 42-yard try wide to the left.
Coughlin gives rookie Bucs coach an earful
Instead of a handshake, Tom Coughlin had choice words for Greg Schiano.
The rookie coach had his team play hard when the Giants tried to end their 41-34 win over Tampa Bay with a traditional kneel-down. Coughlin screamed at the former Rutgers coach as they met on the field, and even turned around and yelled again when Schiano said something back to him. He seemed to mouth the word "bush."
The nastiness of the scene was reminiscent of the run-in between San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh and Lions coach Jim Schwartz after a 49ers win in a close game in Detroit last October.
"I don't think you do that," Coughlin said after the game. "You jeopardize the O-line, you jeopardize the quarterback. Thank goodness we didn't get anybody hurt — that I know of. A couple of linemen were late coming in."
Eli Manning was knocked on his rear end on the play in which the interior of the Bucs' line bull-rushed up the middle.
Manning wasn't hit by a Bucs player, but the momentum of his line being pushed back sent him down.
"It was a little bit of a cheap shot," Manning said. "We're taking a knee in a friendly way and they're firing off. It's a good way to get someone hurt."
Schiano, who spent the past 11 seasons coach at Rutgers, defended the play. He refused to say what Coughlin and he discussed.
"I don't know if that's something not done in the National Football League," Schiano said. "What I do with our football team is we fight until they tell us 'game over.' There's nothing dirty about it. There's not illegal about it. We crowd the ball. It's like a sneak defence and we try to knock it loose.
"If people watched Rutgers, they would know that's what we did at the end of the game. We're not going to quit. That's the way I coach and teach our players."
Bucs players said they do what their coach tells them.
"I've been in the NFL for a while and seen a lot of things," Tampa Bay defensive lineman Michael Bennett said. "Whatever the coach asks us to do, that's our job. It's like someone asks you write a story about something you don't want to write about, you still do it. That's what coach believes in. That's how we play the game."
The Giants weren't so forgiving.
"I was on the sideline and I was kind of confused about it," said receiver Victor Cruz, who had 11 catches for 179 yards, including an 80-yard TD. "It was a little bit of a cheap shot. You don't do that. Once I saw the offensive line get upset, I knew what they had done. You don't do that. As professionals, you understand what this game is. You don't take a cheap shot like that. There's a slim chance of a fumble, but it felt more like a cheap shot."
Giants defensive captain Justin Tuck said there is no protocol for that type of play.
"It won't be forgotten," he said.
The Cardinals (2-0) won behind Kolb, filling in for John Skelton, who missed the game with a sprained right ankle. The Patriots (1-1) lost tight end Aaron Hernandez to an ankle injury in the first quarter.
Steelers 27, Jets 10
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 275 yards and two touchdowns and the Steelers smothered the lifeless Jets in the second half.
Roethlisberger completed 24 of 31 passes. He hit Heath Miller for a 1-yard score to give the Steelers (1-1) the lead late in the first half, then found Mike Wallace for a 37-yard strike early in the third quarter to break the game open.
Isaac Redman added a late 2-yard touchdown run for Pittsburgh, which had little trouble avoiding its first 0-2 start in a decade.
The Jets (1-1) did little offensively after a pair of early scoring drives. Mark Sanchez passed for 138 yards and a touchdown, but New York hardly looked like the offensive juggernaut that piled up points in a 48-28 opening-week blowout win over Buffalo.
Tim Tebow appeared on just one drive early in the second half for the Jets, running for 22 yards on his first carry. It wasn't nearly enough against a defence that did just fine without injured stars James Harrison and Troy Polamalu.
With Roethlisberger expertly running new offensive coordinator Todd Haley's versatile system, he picked apart a Jets secondary that looked exposed without injured star cornerback Darrelle Revis. Roethlisberger completed passes to 10 different receivers as Pittsburgh converted 8 of 15 third downs and held the ball for more than 36 minutes.
Giants 41, Buccaneers 34
Eli Manning threw for 510 yards, and Andre Brown's 2-yard run with 31 seconds left lifted the New York Giants from a 14-point deficit to a wild 41-34 victory Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Manning was the first-half goat and the second-half star in the second-best passing day in team history. His three first-half interceptions staked the Bucs (1-1) to an 11-point lead, and his monster second half helped the Super Bowl champions avoid a dreaded 0-2 start.
Manning threw touchdowns of 23 yards to Hakeem Nicks, 80 to Victor Cruz and 33 to Martellus Bennett with 3:59 to play to give New York a 34-27 lead.
Josh Freeman tied the game with a 41-yard pass to Mike Williams, but Manning drove New York 80 yards in four plays.
Eagles 24, Ravens 23
Michael Vick scored on a 1-yard TD run with 1:55 left, helping the Philadelphia Eagles overcome a slew of turnovers to beat the Baltimore Ravens.
Rookie kicker Justin Tucker made field goals of 56, 51 and 48 yards for the Ravens, but Joe Flacco couldn't get Baltimore (1-1) in his range in the final minute.
Flacco overthrew Ray Rice on fourth-and-1 from the Ravens 46, and the Eagles ran out the clock.
Vick threw four interceptions at Cleveland last week, but rallied the Eagles (2-0) to a 17-16 win.
He did it again, though the replacement officials almost made a costly mistake.
Down 23-17, the Eagles started at their 20 with 4:43 left. Vick threw passes of 24 and 13 yards to Brent Celek. A 19-yard pass to Clay Harbour coupled with a roughing-the-passer penalty put the ball at the 3.
Vick then threw incomplete as he was being hit by Haloti Ngata, but the play was ruled a fumble. It was recovered by the Ravens, but replay overturned the turnover and Vick scored on the next play.
Seahawks 27, Cowboys 7
Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks took control of the clock and the scoreboard in the second half, shutting down Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys.
Lynch ran for 122 yards and a 3-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, Seattle's special teams came up with two huge first-quarter plays that led to 10 points, and the Seahawks beat the Cowboys 27-7 on Sunday.
Michael Robinson forced Felix Jones to fumble on the opening kickoff that led to a short field goal, and Malcolm Smith blocked Chris Jones' punt which Jeron Johnson returned for a touchdown to give Seattle (1-1) a 10-0 lead in less than 5 minutes.
Rookie Russell Wilson threw for 151 yards in his first NFL victory, directing a 90-yard scoring drive in the third quarter capped by a 22-yard touchdown strike to Anthony McCoy to give Seattle a 20-7 lead.
Romo threw a 22-yard TD to Miles Austin in the second quarter, but that was the only sustained drive the Cowboys (1-1) could mount on the Seahawks' stout defence.
Lynch finished with 26 carries and ran for 104 yards in the second half as Seattle dominated possession.
Panthers 35, Saints 27
Cam Newton threw for 253 yards and ran for a career-high 71 yards as the Carolina Panthers defeated New Orleans to hand the Saints their first 0-2 start since 2007.
One week after tying a franchise low with 10 yards rushing in a 16-10 loss to Tampa Bay, the Panthers rediscovered their running game against a porous Saints defence. The Panthers ran for 219 yards and Newton, DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert all scored on short touchdown runs. Steve Smith overcame a sore knee to finish with 104 yards receiving — the 39th 100-yard receiving game of his career — and Jonathan Stewart hauled in a 17-yard touchdown reception for the Panthers (1-1).
Drew Brees had won his previous five starts against Carolina. He threw for 325 yards but was intercepted twice, including once by Charles Godfrey, who returned it 9 yards for a touchdown.
Texans 27, Jaguars 7
Arian Foster ran for 110 yards and a touchdown, Ben Tate added 74 yards and two scores and the Texans dominated from the opening kickoff in a 27-7 win at Jacksonville on Sunday.
The Texans improved to 2-0 for the third consecutive season by winning their fourth in a row against the AFC South rival Jaguars, who started 0-2 for the third time in the last five years.
Jacksonville, which has never had a winning record after dropping its first two games, was far from competitive in the latest meeting.
The Texans gained 242 yards in the first half while building a 17-0 lead. Foster ran for 69 yards and a score. Tate added 49 and a touchdown. Matt Schaub, using mostly short throws, picked apart Jacksonville's defence.
The Jaguars were even worse on offence, finishing with a franchise-low 117 yards.
Bills 35, Chiefs 17
C.J. Spiller scored twice and had 123 yards rushing in sparking the Buffalo Bills' rout over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes, including a 49-yarder to Stevie Johnson, and Leodis McKelvin scored on an 88-yard punt return — the second longest in team history — in the Bills' home opener. Buffalo's high-priced defence had five sacks and forced three turnovers as the Bills bounced back from a dreadful season-opening 48-28 loss at the New York Jets last week.
Dwayne Bowe scored both touchdowns for Kansas City, both coming in the final seven minutes to make the score respectable. Coming off a 40-24 loss at Atlanta, the Chiefs opened a season 0-2 for the sixth time in seven years.
Colts 23, Vikings 20
Adam Vinatieri made a 53-yard field goal with eight seconds left Sunday to give Andrew Luck and Indianapolis a victory over Minnesota.
Luck and new Colts coach Chuck Pagano both picked up their first career victories in their home opener.
Minnesota (1-1) rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the final 5 ½ minutes, tying the score on a 6-yard TD pass from Christian Ponder to Kyle Rudolph with 31 seconds left.
But that was too much time for Luck, who had thrown for two touchdowns. He started with back-to-back 20-yard completions, then drew the Vikings offside before spiking the ball with 12 seconds to go. Vinatieri, the best clutch kicker in NFL history, knocked the 53-yarder through the uprights to win it.
Luck finished 20 of 31 for 224 yards.
Chargers 38, Titans 10
Dante Rosario had three touchdown catches for the first time in his NFL career and San Diego's defence harassed Jake Locker all afternoon as the Chargers beat the Tennessee Titans for the ninth straight time.
Before the game, the Chargers (2-0) retired Junior Seau's No. 55. Seau, the hard-hitting, first-pumping leader of the Chargers for 13 seasons, committed suicide May 2.
With tight end Antonio Gates inactive due to sore ribs, the Chargers turned to Rosario, who signed as a free agent in March. He responded with TD catches of 11, 4 and 15 yards from Philip Rivers. Rosario had only five career scoring catches coming in, his last in 2009. He had a game-winning touchdown catch against San Diego in the 2008 season opener while with Carolina.
San Diego's winning streak against the Titans (0-2) dates to 1993, when the franchise was still the Houston Oilers.
Rivers was 24 of 32 for 284 yards. Malcom Floyd had six catches for 109 yards and Rosario four catches for 48 yards.
Jackie Battle had two rushing touchdowns for the winners.
It was a rough day all around for the Titans, who were held to 212 yards of total offence. Tennessee's Chris Johnson had only 17 yards on eight carries. He was coming off a career-low 4 yards on 11 carries in a 34-13 loss to New England.
Locker was 15 of 30 for 174 yards.
Bengals 34, Browns 27
Adam "Pacman" Jones returned Cleveland's first punt 81 yards for a touchdown, and Andy Dalton matched his career high with three touchdown passes, leading the Cincinnati Bengals to a 34-27 victory in their one-sided rivalry.
The Bengals (1-1) have won 13 of the last 16 against the Browns (0-2), who got impressive games from their rookie quarterback and running back but still couldn't get a win.
Jones put the Bengals ahead to stay with his fifth career punt return for a touchdown. Dalton threw three TD passes for the second time in his career, including a short reception that Andrew Hawkins turned into a 50-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden rebounded from one of the worst debuts in NFL history by throwing for two touchdowns. Trent Richardson became the first Browns rookie to run for 100 yards and score on a run and a pass.
Rams 31, Redskins 28
Sam Bradford threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns and Danny Amendola caught 16 passes for 160 yards in rallying the Rams over Robert Griffin III and and the Redskins.
The Rams made their comeback after coach Jeff Fisher benched running back Steven Jackson for drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the second quarter.
Griffin led the Redskins (1-1) to a 21-6 lead, but the Rams (1-1) came back thanks to the pass-catching of Amendola. The receiver tied an NFL record 12 first-half receptions, and caught a 1-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 21-13 at the half. Bradford had second-half scoring passes of 34 yards to Brandon Gibson and 1 yard to Matt Mulligan.
Griffin ran for two touchdowns and passed for a third for Washington (1-1).
The Redskins got a final shot after DeAngelo Hall recovered running back Daryl Richardson's fumble at the Washington 37 with 2:40 to go. Billy Cundiff, though, was wide right and well short on 62-yard field goal attempt with 1:13 left.
Dolphins 35, Raiders 13
Reggie Bush ran for 172 yards and two touchdowns, and the Miami Dolphins won a home opener for the first time since 2005 by beating the Oakland Raiders.
Ryan Tannehill threw his first NFL touchdown pass, ran for another and avoided any turnovers after tossing three interceptions in his pro debut a week earlier.
The Dolphins improved to 1-1, and Joe Philbin earned a sideline drenching for his first victory as a head coach. The Raiders, under new coach Dennis Allen, are 0-2 for the first time since 2007.
Bush broke four tackles on a 23-yard touchdown run that put Miami ahead to stay in the third quarter. After Miami forced a punt, Bush struck again, this time on a 65-yard scoring run.